The oil refining industry’s base oils account for 1.2% of the world’s annual crude oil consumption. They are used in the transportation and industrial production sectors as motor oils or lubricants.

After use, the oil becomes contaminated, and once its properties are altered, it cannot perform its task properly. The used oil must then be drained and replaced by new oil. Used oil cannot simply be disposed of indiscriminately, it has to be recycled!

Here is more information on the used oil recycling processes used in Quebec.

Used oil recovery in Quebec

In Quebec, used oils are subject to hazardous waste management regulations since they are oxidizing, flammable and leachable substances. You therefore need a permit to operate, transport and store used oil or to reuse it after it has been used as fuel. 

In fact, any company that manages dangerous goods or materials such as used oil also needs to submit an annual report to the Ministère de l'Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques. This report details the type of oil and the quantities stored, produced, processed for energy purposes, shipped and received. This provides information on the percentage of used oil that is actually recycled.

According to Recyc-Québec, close to 90 % of used oil is recovered in Quebec. Most of these are collected by companies registered with SOGHU (Société de gestion des huiles usagées). Recovered used oil can then be used for two purposes: recycling or energy recovery.

Regeneration: the method for recycling used oil in Quebec

The regeneration process gives new life to used oils recovered in Quebec. 

During this process, the used oil undergoes various elaborate refining treatments. At the end of the process, a new lubricant with a performance equal to new oils is obtained.

Used oil regeneration is greatly beneficial from an environmental standpoint. This process generates 80% less greenhouse gases per liter than the production of new motor oil from crude oil. 

Energy recovery: another way to give used oil a second life

According to SOGHU, used oil energy recovery is defined as a reuse and recycling activity. It consists of using the residual material (used oil in this case) as fuel to replace raw materials.

After rapid decantation and filtration, the lubricants are used as fuel oil and serve as an auxiliary fuel for heavy industries, such as cement plants or greenhouses. 

However, not just any company can work with used oil as a fuel. For an industry to utilize used oil for energy purposes, it needs to have combustion equipment with a capacity of at least 3 MW, and the used oil cannot exceed certain concentrations of contaminants. 

Leave your hazardous waste to EBI Enviro Urgence

In conclusion, if you are committed to protecting the environment and preventing water and soil contamination, make sure you always take your used oils to a SOGHU designated centre. Authorized centres will make sure that the used oil is regenerated or recovered for energy purposes.

Request our services if you have large quantities of oil or other hazardous waste in your possession and want it to be handled in the most environmentally friendly way possible. We can recover your hazardous materials (used oil, oil filters, empty oil containers and lubrication aerosols) and make sure they will be properly disposed of or recovered.